The Q&A Archives: Indoor Gardening Ideas for Kids

Question: I am starting a garden club for young students after school. They will meet once weekly. We live where there is still snowy, a short growing season. Does anyone have ideas for activities that can be done by students grades 2-4 that are educational and fun? We are currently forcing bulbs and will donate some of them to an area home for the elderly. Our funding is somewhat limited. Martha Manning Swanton VT

Answer: I am not sure from your letter whether you will be continuing this club into summertime, or whether it will end with the school year. Will you have an outdoor garden--if so, you can plant some early-season crops like spinach and peas. Some fun indoor ideas include sprouting an avocado, or growing ginger plants from ginger roots; there are lots of experiments you can do, like testing the effects of various factors like light, heat, or water on germination. Or the effects of crowding on radishes. Two great books to check out are Gardening Wizardry for Kids by Patricia Kite (Barron's Publishing, 1995) -- lots of experiments and ideas for sprouting kitchen vegetables Garden Crafts for Kids by Diane Rhoades (Sterling Publishing, 1995) -- various crafts, from decorating garden tools to building a bird house from a gourd to making homemade ginger soda (Both books are availble from National Gardening Association, 1-800-538-7476.) Your garden club sounds like a great idea!

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